Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Mormon Monday: By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

One of the reasons I love the internet, and blogging, is that I get to meet and befriend so many people from all over the world.  Along with this blessing are ample questions brought to me about my religion.

And it's no secret that I love my religion. 2 Nephi 25:25 says it all. "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."

This blog, I hope, is a testament to my love of Christ, and my desire to share that testimony to anyone who reads these posts.

So in an effort to answer mass questions brought to me daily, I'm going to spend each Monday for awhile sharing a bit about our Church.  If you want even more information, please visit LDS.org, or hunt down the handsome men and beautiful Sisters with name badges in your area.  They'll tell you everything in exchange for food ;)  If you want a free Book of Mormon, message me, and I'll get one out to you myself.  On to Mormon Monday...

One question, concern, or even sometimes accusation I get is about our tithing.  We give ten percent of our increase (for us, we choose our increase to be the gross amount of money we earn) to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Here are some of the things our tithing goes towards:

  • Building beautiful buildings where we can attend meetings each Sunday to partake of the Sacrament and learn more about our Savior and Heavenly Father.  We also use these wonderful buildings for weddings, baptisms, games, Ward activities, and occasionally they can be used for shelter.
  • Temples.  Our beautiful Temples are where we go to make promises with God, and then to help our deceased ancestors make those same promises they were denied while alive.  I'll talk more about Temples on another post.  Suffice it to say, I would give 100% of our earnings if it meant I could have a temple near me.  Thankfully, this isn't required.  I have two beautiful temples a short drive away from me, and I'm so grateful for them.
  • To sustain missionary work.  There are roughly 84,000 sons and daughters serving missions across the globe.  They need places to live, food to eat, and bikes to ride.  
  • On every tithing slip is the option to donate to specific areas, like missions, temples, buildings, education, etc. 
  • We also have the opportunity to give a Fast Offering each Sunday.  This will be it's own post as well.
Something not listed here are the enumerable blessings we've received from the Lord because we payed our tithing.  Those are sacred blessings, that I would love to share with anyone privately.  But for the sake of the audience, I'll keep them close to my heart right now.  Feel free to message me if you would like to know more.

But here is what you really need to know about tithing.  Look at the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Look at our fruits.  Are we purchasing jet planes to send our prophet around the world to ask for more money?  Heavens no!  Do we offer humanitarian aid across the globe?  You bet!  Do we provide help for people who are struggling?  Absolutely!  Are we, as members, provided with books about the gospel, lessons, manuals, pictures, paintings, pianos and music to help us grow to know Him more?  We sure are!  Do we do anything differently from the ancient church that Jesus himself was head of?  We do not!  

Things we do not do with our tithing funds: finance bishops or other leaders.  Our amazing leaders, who spend hours and hours away from family and home, are a  lay ministry.  This means, they do it on a completely voluntary basis.  Bishops usually serve for five years, Stake Presidents can serve for up to 10 years, Mission Presidents uproot their families and move to foreign countries to serve for 3 years.  This is all done to build up the Kingdom of Zion, it is all done "free of charge" and on a voluntary basis.  And I am eternally grateful for their service to me.

If you would like to know more about tithing, click here: tithing

I struggled with paying my tithing when I was first married.  We were already dirt poor and I often thought Heavenly Father would understand.  In the end, I am the one who didn't understand the blessings and promises that come from paying my tithing.  When Brett and I started consistently paying our 10%, we were blessed.  I know it's from our faith in this law that we were blessed with a house, that Brett was blessed with a lucrative job, and that we were blessed with innumerable other things pertaining to revelation and the Spirit.  

This is a law that should only be obeyed when it's done with faith and love.  It's hard for someone outside of the Church to feel the Spirit testifying to them of the wonders of tithing, so I'll do it for you!  It is a sweet blessing!  It is a simple thing to do!  And we are so grateful that we get to pay our tithing!  

**Interesting Facts** In the early days of the Church, shortly after the restoration, people were asked to tithe their time and work in place of money.  They each spent every tenth day building a beautiful temple.  What an amazing way to give of yourself to Heavenly Father and to your fellow members.

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